‘Who are you calling racist? We have been fighting for freedom and equality for over a century ‘: Corriere dello Sport launch impassioned defense on their front page amid Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling racism storm
- Corriere dello Sport have defended their controversial ‘Black Friday’ headline
- The Italian outlet used the words to promote a story featuring Romelu Lukaku
- Defender Chris Smalling was also used on the page ahead of Inter Milan V Roma
- Now the paper denies they are racist, saying they have campaigned for equality
ByOli Gamp For Mailonline|Updated:
Corriere dello Sport have launched a passionate defense of their ‘Black Friday‘ headline to promote a story featuringRomelu Lukakuand Chris Smalling, claiming they have campaigned against **** for over a century.
The Italian paper had been building up to Friday’s game between Inter Milan and Roma and put pictures of Lukaku and Smalling to sell the piece on Thursday’s front page, leading to widespread condemnation.
Italyhas already been the subject of numerous racist incidents this season, with Inter’s Lukaku enduring monkey chants from supporters andMario Balotellithreatening to leave the pitch after receiving abuse while playing for Brescia.
Friday’s front page defends its’ Black Friday ‘story, claiming the paper has defended equality
Given the delicate situation, the paper’s decision to use such words on their front page has angered fans and readers, with Italian journalist Matteo Bonetti calling Corriere ‘tone deaf’.
But after refusing to apologize for the controversial headline, Correire have now defended it on Friday’s front page, insisting that they have long campaigned against discrimination.
Its headline reads: ‘Who are you calling racist? Lynching of a newspaper that for a century has defended liberty and equality. ‘
Romelu Lukaku has been subject to racist abuse on a number of occasions since joining Inter
Corriere’s front page on Thursday started a racism storm after featuring Lukaku and Smalling
Corriere editor Ivan Zazzaroni added that the story was’ a way of praising the magnificent richness of difference ‘.
‘Black Friday, for those who want to and can understand it, was just a way of praising difference, the magnificent richness of difference, ‘he wrote.
‘If you don’t understand that, it’s because either you can’t or are putting it on. Black Friday is the innocent headline of a newspaper, ours, that for almost a century has been passionately and obstinately defending the values of sport.
‘And yet it has been transformed into poison by those who have poison within them.’
Chris Smalling has said the words by Corriere dello sport were ‘wrong and highly insensitive’
Both players’ camps have already reacted to Correire’s story, with Lukaku’s representative Michael Yormark saying he was’ in disbelief ‘.
‘It’s shocking, I’m disappointed, basically. Almost in disbelief, ‘he said.
‘ We’ve read a lot, heard a lot about the racial issues in Serie A, in Italy with regards to football and the racism that exists. Romelu faced that in his second match of the season. He’s been outspoken about it. ‘
Italian journalist Matteo Bonetti was left ‘shocked’ at the decision-making of Thursday’s cover
Lukaku himself released a statement, calling ‘Black Friday’ ‘the most dumbest of headlines I have ever seen’.
He added: ‘Instead of focusing on a battle between two teams, Corriere dello Sport comes with the most dumbest of headlines I have ever seen in my career.
‘You guys keep fuelling the negativity and the racism issue instead of talking about the beautiful game that’s going to be played at San Siro between two great clubs. ‘
Lukaku was racially abused by supporters of Cagliari as he prepared to take a decisive penalty
Meanwhile, Chris Smalling took a reserved approach, admitting that the paper’s actions had been ‘wrong and highly insensitive ‘and urging the editors to reflect on the impact their words can have.
‘ While I would have liked to spend the day focusing on the big game tomorrow, it is important that I acknowledge that what occurred this morning was wrong and highly insensitive, ‘he wrote on Twitter.
‘I hope the editors involved in running this headline take responsibility and understand the power they possess through words, and the impact those words can have. ‘